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Wednesday, February 06, 2008
We're Just Crazy about Dima
by Paul E. Richardson
So what exactly do we know about Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, other than that he is a loyal Putinista going back nearly two decades?
Well, first, we know that he is now Russia's most popular politician, having surpassed Putin in late December, thanks to the Kremlin PR machine.
Here are some other things we know:
Born: September 14, 1965.
His parents were from Krasnodar and Voronezh and met in St. Petersburg, where both became university professors.
He has always been a very serious student (like a "small old man" one former teacher once said), and his favorite book as a child was the Small Soviet Encyclopedia.
He met Putin while both were working for Anatoly Sobchak, to help him get elected to the Supreme Soviet. Medvedev, educated as a lawyer and a former student of Sobchak's at Leningrad State University, became a legal adviser to Sobchak when he was elected mayor of Leningrad.
In 1992, a group of St. Petersburg deputies accused Putin of raw material export machinations valued at $92 million. It was later believed that Medvedev, using his legal expertise, was instrumental in suppressing the scandal, thereby sealing Putinâ??s trust.
Medvedev ran some businesses and sat on some boards in the heady 1990s. One of these was Ilim Paper and Pulp, which he left just before it was revealed the Ilim had taken part in some illegal privatization deals.
After Putin was elevated to Prime Minister in 1999, he brought Medvedev to Moscow.
In 2000, Medvedev ran Putin's presidential campaign, which he won with 53% of the vote. Medvedev waas made deputy chief of staff, then chief of staff in 2003.
He has been deputy prime minister since 2005.
Since 2000, Medvedev has served in a senior capacity on the board of directors of Gazprom, one of the world's largest companies.
He is a big fan of heavy metal rock (Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath).
A few years ago, he was a bit pudgy and he began working out regularly.
His officially declared income in 2007 was R146,000 per month, or about $6000.
He does not own a car, but his wife does - a Volkswagen Golf
He has reported asset in eight bank accounts with total deposits of R2.74 million (just under $100,000).
His apartment in Moscow is 367.8 square meters
He is married to his high school sweetheart and has a son, Ilya, who will soon be a teenager.
Other sources of info on Dima:
Russia Profile did a nice piece, providing perspective on his relationship to various clans.
Yuri Mamchur posted this nice, often funny photo essay about Dima.
An RIA Novosti posted this series of pictures of Dima's wife, Svetlana.